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President Kaljulaid: I have not proclaimed the Mandatory Funded Pension Reform Act because it contradicts the Constitution

07.02.2020

“The President of the Republic is neither for nor against any particular law. But the Head of State has the constitutional duty of maintaining the compliance of our legal framework with the Constitution,” said President Kersti Kaljulaid. In her assessment, the pension reform legislation disproportionately affects the basic rights of different people and also in several parts contradicts the principles of the rule of law, the welfare state and the legitimate expectation, as stipulated in the Constitution.

According to the Head of State, one of the underlying principles of our democratic state is the right of the legislature to implement its policies. “This decision-making scope is especially wide in the social sphere, whereas my opinion on the content of the chosen political measures is not important. My analysis was based only on the Constitution in the context of potential discrepancies,” stated president Kaljulaid.

She added that various discrepancies in relation to the Constitution had been admitted both by the supporters of the reform and those opposing it, but the question is whether these discrepancies are justified and proportional. “Having analysed the discrepancies, I reached the conclusion that a law amending our current pension system in such an extensive and retroactive manner contradicts the Constitution. That is why I have not proclaimed this bill, instead of sending it back to the Riigikogu for a new discussion aimed at finding opportunities to ensure its compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia,” said the Head of State.

President Kaljulaid lists in her analysis the six main ways in which the pension reform legislation contradicts the Constitution. “Firstly, the bill contains several objective violations of constitutional principles. Secondly, the central issue is the disproportionate discrepancy between the legitimate expectation and the right of ownership,” president Kaljulaid explained her decision not to proclaim the bill.

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